By DeVry University
Cyber security is an exciting career field that is becoming more important as technology and connectivity increase. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the cyber security field is expected to grow on a national level by 33% between 2020 and 2030, higher than the average growth rate for most industries in the United States1.
Thanks to the growth of this industry, there are plenty of reasons to consider a future in cyber security. In this article, you'll learn about a variety of cyber security jobs and careers at the entry and advanced levels, the skills and education they may require and more in the following sections (jump to):
Entry Level Cyber Security Jobs
Cyber security is a wide and varied field, with a variety of different entry-level job options to pursue. For many career paths, entry-level cyber security jobs may be more advanced than you might initially expect. Sometimes, certain entry-level jobs in the cyber security industry can require a year or more of experience, such as IT experience. However, each position is dependent on the company doing the hiring, so standards may not be uniform across the board.
Still, this diversity of positions gives you an opportunity to explore the cyber security field and see what type of work you find most interesting. Here are six examples of entry-level cyber security jobs that might interest you:
- Information Security Analyst – Information security analysts observe the flow of data within a company and research industry trends in order to determine the safest way to transmit information between relevant parties.
- Security Specialist – Security specialists help to educate a company’s employees about security and work to prevent cyberattacks. They are often involved in the day-to-day operations of a company as it relates to information and data security.
- Digital Forensic Investigator – Digital forensic investigators look into security breaches and recover data from devices in order to identify the culprit behind a cyberattack, or to gather evidence for legal proceedings.
- IT Auditor – IT auditors are responsible for observing the usage of IT elements within a company to ensure that they are being deployed in a security-conscious manner.
- Incident Responder – Incident responders work to recover lost data, find out what was compromised and restore service function after a breach in security.
- Cybercrime Analyst – Cybercrime analysts investigate crimes after they have occurred, and study crimes that are happening around the world in order to pass along information that will help companies avoid similar security breaches.
Mid-Level Cyber Security Jobs
By the time you've reached a mid-level career within cyber security, you've likely already developed a sense for what interests you, or even have a specialty within the field.
Some examples of mid-level cyber security jobs and what they might entail include:
- Systems Administrator – Systems administrators, sometimes called admins or sysadmins, oversee all systems, networks and data transmission methods within a company in order to ensure that they are being used properly and in a security-conscious manner.
- Penetration Tester – Penetration testers, also known as pen testers, ensure that cyber security systems are up to snuff by attempting to breach them from the outside.
- Security Systems Administrator – A security systems administrator oversees the cyber security systems that are used to keep a company safe from attacks, while also ensuring the efficiency of day-to-day operations.
Advanced Level Cyber Security Jobs
Advanced-level cyber security jobs tend to be more specialized than both entry or mid-level jobs and may involve more management-based positions.
Here are five examples of advanced cyber security jobs that experienced professionals may qualify for, along with a brief explanation of what each position generally involves:
- Security Architect – Security architects are responsible for identifying the suite of software applications that a company will use in order to protect its data. They often work alongside IT managers and systems administrators to make sure that security concerns are addressed.
- Cryptographer – Cryptographers work to secure data using a complex system of ciphers, codes and algorithms. In the event that a company receives an encrypted file, they also perform the analysis of those files in an isolated system.
- Cyber Security Manager – Cyber security managers oversee and manage the systems and channels used by a company for the transmission of information within a company.
- Security Auditor – Security auditors investigate the software, programming and systems that a company uses for their cyber security measures in order to determine areas of weakness and identify potential improvements.
- Source Code Auditor – Source code auditors use their programming experience to identify areas of weakness within the source code of a software in order to help build safer, more secure software applications.
How to Pursue a Job in Cyber Security
To pursue a cyber security career you may need to have a degree or certificate in computer science, information technology or a related field. It can also help to have relevant work experience in a technology-focused job, even if you were not working full time (for instance, working for the IT department at your school or as a computer repair specialist).
Beyond these basic requirements, the process for pursuing a job in the cyber security field is virtually identical to any other industry. If you are applying for an advanced or more specialized position however, some employers may want candidates to have industry-relevant certifications in addition to their education.
Types of Skills and Education Needed for a Cyber Security Job
The skills needed for a cyber security job will likely vary depending on the position you wish to pursue. For instance, some entry-level position may only require an Undergraduate Certificate in Cyber Security, and may have little to no work experience requirements. However, having a bachelor’s degree, such as our Bachelor's with a Specialization in Cyber Security, may help you meet the minimum requirements for a wider variety of career opportunities.
The pursuit of some positions may also be aided by a more specialized degree, such as our Bachelor's Degree Specialization in Cyber Security Programming, which may help you be better prepared to pursue jobs that involve protecting data and networks.
It may also be helpful to develop a wide range of technology and cyber security-related skills such as programming, working with operating systems or have familiarity with software that may be useful when working toward a career in cyber security.
Career Outlook for Cyber Security Professionals
As previously mentioned, the BLS projects faster than average industry growth in a national level for cyber security professionals through 20301. If you’re looking to pursue cyber security jobs or wondering how to get into the field, you can begin by exploring education opportunities that teach the skills needed to pursue the types of jobs you are interested in.
Interested in a Cyber Security Career?
Whether you’re interested in pursuing a career in cyber security or are already working in the field and want to expand your skills, we’re here to help you find the program that works for you and your goals.
Our technology and cyber security degrees are designed to help you develop your skills and learn from experienced and knowledgeable faculty. Classes start every 8 weeks.